May 20, 2013 |
A conference to help dancers tackle the Sisyphean task of surviving and succeeding in Los Angeles will feature an unprecedented array of city, county, nonprofit and artistic leaders. The inaugural L.A. Dance Summit, scheduled for June 8 at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Little Tokyo, is a “big tent opportunity,” said co-organizer Bonnie Oda Homsey, a professional dancer, administrator and educator. Because of the city's sprawl, “it's easy get in a silo mode and miss opportunities to communicate,” said Homsey, who performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company in New York City and co-founded the American Repertory Dance Company here in 1994.
December 15, 2012 |
A bit of déjà vu in Los Angeles during 2012. Like 2011 - which ended with the announcement that Benjamin Millepied was moving here to start his own arts collective, L.A. Dance Project - this year has drawn to a close with a big announcement that is touted as a major step forward for dance in Los Angeles. Philanthropist Glorya Kaufman has made an undisclosed, but apparently multi-million dollar donation to USC, to help build and endow a top-tier school of dance for the Trojans. It's a boon for USC, but let's call this what it really is: a great lost opportunity for the city's dance community and a sorry misdirection of enormous and valuable resources.
March 16, 2012 |
When a circle forms in the middle of a nightclub dance floor, it's often one of two things: Either someone in a drunken party has decided to bust out "the sprinkler" or a posse of breakdancers takes over to showcase its acrobatic power moves. But at the Floor, a unique multi-genre dance night held every third Monday at Hollywood's King King, anything's possible (except, perhaps, the sprinkler). Because it attracts professional dancers and dance enthusiasts from all over the stylistic map, you're just as likely to glimpse a swing dance couple sweeping through the circle with flips and aerials as a pair of tango dancers gliding across in a sultry embrace, or a tap dancer banging out a jazzy freestyle duet with the band's saxophonist.
January 29, 2012 |
3-D or not 3-D: That is the question. Or at least it's one question ricocheting through the dance community in the aftermath of "Pina," Wim Wenders' recent 3-D film tribute to the late innovative German choreographer and Tanztheater Wuppertal company leader Pina Bausch. In one sense, it's a nonissue: Every classic dance film ever made would have infinitely more power with real dimensional space around, behind, above and in front of the dancers. Think about Fred Astaire gunning down the corps in "Top Hat" or the fantastic colors and shapes in "The Red Shoes" ballet or Baryshnikov defining male classicism for the whole century in "The Turning Point" or Patrick Swayze having the time of his life in "Dirty Dancing" or the Merce Cunningham company making modernism irresistibly seductive in "Points in Space.
January 15, 2012 |
Just past the front desk at the Equinox fitness club in Westwood, a sign encourages members to sign up for their free 15-minute Pilates session. Next to the sign is Pilates instructor Ashley Hoffman, a 26-year-old with a porcelain complexion and full, reddish-brown hair. She and another trainer chat while waiting for spontaneous customers, but the fit-looking men and women checking in zoom by to the cardio and weight machines upstairs. There are no takers on this mid-December morning.
July 20, 2010 |
Maria Gillespie clearly remembers her excitement upon learning of her acceptance into REDCAT's first New Original Works Festival. "It was the first thing I got into where I wasn't self-producing, and it had a reputation that could help propel me forward," says the Los Angeles-based choreographer, who founded the company Oni Dance the following year. Since 2004, Gillespie and some 25 other choreographers and dance-based artists have presented their work in the annual REDCAT festival, now in its seventh year and unwavering in its mission to support experimental dance, theater, music and interdisciplinary works by Los Angeles-based artists both emerging and established.